Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Exercise and weight GAIN

OK, first things first.

Saturday - good 4 mile run at 6am in the heat and humidity, followed by breakfast, a quick stop at the Track Shack expo, (where I bought a neon yellow Marathonfest shirt. I don't wear yellow. EVER. Running is changing me!), and then a trip to Aquatica where hubby and I spent most of the rest of the day. I've decided that swimming after running is a good thing. :)

Monday - weights with Bruce. He worked my legs some, but mostly upper body, core, and back. It feels really good to be getting stronger. He also has me doing some crazy 20 second sprints on the treadmill at a ridiculous incline (20-25%) - but since it's not prolonged running it's not hurting my legs. It's really nice to not have sore legs all the time! (Even though I am icing the hamstrings today!)

Tuesday - good 3 mile run at 5am. I did mile repeats. My first mile I ran without walking in 10:20! That's really a confidence builder, especially since I was having so many bad runs in a row. With the heat and humidity, I felt pretty good that I was able to do that. My other two miles I walked some, but that was ok - it was SUPER humid, especially for 5am! I was surprised because it was much better last week.

Today is a rest day, but I'm hoping to do a little swimming and some ab work.

I weighed in this morning and gained 2.2 lbs. Seriously. I am so frustrated! I'm burning more calories than ever before. I do realize that I'm also building muscle, and everyone will tell me that "muscle weighs more than fat." OK. Whatever. All I know is that I'm killing myself and GAINING weight. When I got back from Italy I had LOST weight. And I had pasta for every meal, sweet croissants and cappuccino for breakfast, and gelato every day, sometimes twice a day.

I've done an awful lot of reading and research on running, eating, weight loss, and etc. I've talked to a lot of people about it, too. I know that nutrition is very important. Apparently, some runners see that they are burning so many calories, and then they give themselves permission to eat whatever they want. I can say that I have NOT been doing that. I may not be eating perfectly (last night I went to a birthday party and had cake and ice cream and cupcakes!), but it is very rare that I let myself eat a bunch of crap.

Today I'll be taking stock of my pantry and fridge, looking up recipes, and making a grocery list. I need to head to the store and spend more time fixing nutritious meals and snacks that will fuel my body for these hard workouts. Lucky for me that my Saturday runs take place right by an awesome Farmers' Market!

If anyone has any advice, I'm SO open to it. Leave me a comment. Send me an email. Share articles, recipes, and anything else you can think of! This is my SUMMER OF EXERCISE, and that includes learning to eat like a runner! :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Off to a good start!

It would seem that my mental block is broken!! I don't want to speak too soon and jinx anything, but I've finally had a couple of really good runs!!

(I've got to do better about updating my blog more often. I keep having to go back and see what the last workout was that I blogged about!)

OK, so...workout with Bruce on Thursday, June 13. We spent a little bit of time talking because I had gotten an email from Marathonfest. I decided to sign up for Marathonfest, which is a training program through Track Shack that targets marathons and half marathons. They train on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. (They train on Sundays too, for people who can't do Saturday. But I can't do Sunday so I often forget about that.) Anyway, I was planning on sticking with Bruce for Tuesdays and Thursdays, and doing my long run with them on Saturdays. But then I got the plan - they run significant mileage on T-Th, where I run usually between 1.5 and 3 on those days. I started to worry that I wouldn't be running enough.

Bruce took a look at the plan and advised me to run with them for one whole week and see where I was in relation to the group. Neither of us was sure I would be able to get up at 3:30 and be in Winter Park for a 5am run. But I decided to give it a try. Plus, my friend Barbara is doing it, so it's easier when there's some accountability!

We proceeded to do some warmups, arm work, and a short 15-20 minute slow run. The warmups hurt, I'm not gonna lie. I hadn't run for 11 days and was still somewhat recovering from jet lag. The run was awful - I ran for 5 minutes, walked for 1, and then couldn't do more than 2-3 minutes at a time for the rest of the run. I was so discouraged - I was hoping that the rest over vacation would help.

Then I went for my Saturday long run with Marathonfest. We were doing 4 miles, running 5/1. (5 minutes running, 1 minute walking.) I was pretty nervous because I couldn't even remember my last good run. We ran with a different group that day - there are a BUNCH of different pace groups. This one was a 5/1 group with an 11-12 minute mile pace. I did fine for awhile, but it was SO humid. I mean you could CUT the air. By the end I was just running as much as I could and walking quite a bit. I did the 4 miles but with more walking than I wanted. Again, I was pretty disappointed in myself.

Fast forward to Tuesday. I got up at 3:30, left the house at 4:00, picked up Barbara at 4:15, and was warming up on the track at 4:40. I decided to run with yet ANOTHER group, one that does 3/1 with a 9:30-10:30 minute mile pace. They were running slower than that on Tuesday and after awhile I just left them and ran alone. (No worries, with Marathonfest you're never truly running alone because there are like 500 people on the course.) But I wasn't with a particular group - I would just find people here and there to run with.

About 30 minutes in, I realized I was having a great day, so I really pushed myself! For awhile there I was keeping a 9:20 pace without stopping. That's unreal for me and I was so happy! But I tried not to get overexcited! By the end I had done almost 4 miles and my calves and Achilles' tendons were hurting pretty bad. I knew I had pushed it so I texted Bruce and he didn't seem too worried. I came home and iced my legs and went about my day. I did fall asleep on the couch while eating lunch! LOL! 3:30 is EARLY! But I can totally see the benefit! It was still mostly dark when I finished my run, so the temperature was SO MUCH BETTER!

I did the whole thing again on Thursday, but this time we were doing a 3 mile run on hills. Luckily it wasn't hills the whole time, but I really need to do them because they scare me to death. I wasn't feeling it when I first started, but somehow I got in my groove and had another great day! I did 3/1 again and this time was at the front of the group with a super nice lady named Sandy. I ran the hills smoothly and without stopping and shocked myself!!

Later that morning, I went in for a session with Bruce. He promised to take it easy on my legs, but he did sneak in a few leg exercises. I felt that! We decided that I would come in twice a week to do core and weight training/cross training with him, and then continue running with Marathonfest. So it looks like I'll be getting up at 3:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays all summer and most of the fall!

I did lots of arm/shoulder/back stuff and today I'm SUPER sore! It feels great, though! I feel like I'm finally back and off to a great start for my Summer of Exercise!

In other news, did I mention that I signed up for the Disney Princess Half? My awesome college friend, Angie, is coming down from Ohio to do it with me. I can't wait!

Also, just today I signed up for Twitter. It's about time, right? Follow me @run_aunt_sis!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Professional Exerciser

Wow. It's been a really long time since I blogged! I'll quickly finish out my exercise log after my last post.

May 23 - workout with Bruce. Pretty normal day.

May 25 - 6 mile run. Lots of walking during. I was feeling pretty tired and because my running group had a week off, I was on my own. I left a lot later than I had planned, so I had to deal with the heat and the sun. But I did run into my friend Staci who did 4 miles with me, so that was an awesome surprise!

May 28 - workout with Bruce, during which he absolutely KILLED my quads. I mean KILLED them. I was sore for 6 days after. :(

May 30 we left for Italy to celebrate my"milestone" birthday. Yep, I'm in the last few weeks of my 30s, folks. It's weird. But the trip to Italy was awesome! I had planned to run 3 times while we were gone, but I only ended up running once. At the risk of sounding whiny, it's really hard to plan for a run when you're staying in a hotel. I couldn't stay hydrated like I do at home, and I couldn't eat normally. And we did a lot of walking every single day, with lots of hills and stairs! Anyway, I ran once in Lake Como and it was beautiful. I ran right on the lake, and even ran out a little pier and back - so fun! I love having that map on my Garmin. Here are a few pics from that run:

So now we're home and I took a short walk this morning. I have a workout scheduled with Bruce tomorrow. I'm feeling a little uneasy about my running - it seems for the last month I've been super tired and found it hard to keep up my pace. I'm hoping that over the summer I can increase my endurance (although that will probably be difficult in the Florida heat.) It seems like my legs are fine and can keep going, but I just can't catch my breath. I need to improve my cardiovascular system.

The plan is to keep up my workouts with Bruce on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and do my long run on Saturdays with my group. I'm also hoping to add another day with Bruce. My group also does Tuesday and Thursday early morning runs, so I'm going to talk to Bruce about that tomorrow. I feel like it's time to re-evaluate and get me back on track. And I also plan to walk on some of my off-days. Hopefully that will continue to improve my cardio, while also speeding recovery and burning calories.

This summer, my job title will be "professional exerciser"!!!!